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Image: Submitted/Nature Conservancy of Canada

Nature Conservancy Welcomes ‘Historic’ Announcement

By Brad Perry Dec 19, 2022 | 8:30 AM

Conservation groups welcome news that New Brunswick has now protected 10 per cent of the province’s land and freshwater.

Last Tuesday, the province announced that it is protecting an additional 277,900 hectares of Crown land through the Nature Legacy initiative.

Paula Noël, New Brunswick program director of the Nature Conservancy of Canada, said this is great news for conservation.

“It is a historic announcement. There has never before been this much land protected in one announcement in this province,” Noël said in a phone interview.

The first 100,000 hectares of Crown land to be protected under the initiative was announced earlier this year.

Residents were invited to nominate specific areas for protection as part of the initiative. The province said more than 1,000 submissions and 800 comments were received.

According to the province, about three-quarters of the area that has received protection was thanks to a nomination originating from scientists, conservation stakeholders, First Nations, land managers, local community groups, or residents.

“At the start of this initiative, New Brunswick was near the back of the pack in terms of conserved lands. This was something that a lot of us working in conservation thought was overdue,” said Noël.

“We were really excited by the commitment not just to conserve more but to really accelerate the pace and meet a goal of 10 per cent of public lands protected.”

Despite the excitement surrounding last week’s announcement, Noël said now is not the time for the province to take its foot off the gas pedal.

She said there is a need to accelerate conservation efforts even further as we see unprecedented losses of biodiversity, more endangered species, and accelerated impacts of climate change.

Noël pointed to a new international target of protecting 30 per cent of lands and oceans by 2030.

Natural Resources Minister Mike Holland said biodiversity conservation and identifying nature-based solutions to climate change will continue to be a priority for his government.

As part of the recently renewed Climate Change Action Plan, the province has committed to setting a new protected areas target by 2024,


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